Zalman VF3000A ReviewRHKCommander959 - November 21, 2010
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The Zalman VF3000A was a breeze to install, operated quietly, and provided the best temperatures out of all the cooling solutions tested. The Fan Mate 2 gets a little warm since it is basically just a variable resistor in a nice package, but it worked flawlessly nonetheless. The only odd thing that comes to mind is the blue LEDs in a red heat sink - blue is very common, but it seems odd. The tool-less installation is another great feature - the only time a tool is needed is to take the old heat sink off. Installation is extremely easy, as it is basically just putting on four thumb screws and taped heat sinks. The packaging looked good and was clean and orderly. All needed accessories were included with some extras, although Zalman could have added some additional spare parts. The size of the heat sink is massive, although this is neither a pro nor a con as long as proper homework is done before using this heat sink. It will stick slightly past a 5870 in length and requires three expansion slots. The base is almost perfectly smooth, and is highly polished for a good heat transfer, which shows attention to detail from Zalman.
There aren't any real cons with the VF3000A heat sink, as everything worked perfectly. The only gripes that can be had really are nitpicks, such as the blue LEDs and perhaps the lack of spare parts, as the only spares included are two of one type of washers, and enough thermal paste to reapply in the event that you mess up the first time. Other than these minor nitpicks, everything worked fantastically - the memory heat sinks attached easilyy and held very strongly, temperatures were the lowest achieved in the charts so far, and the sound level was hardly audible at maximum fan speed, which is a great accomplishment, especially when compared to the extremely loud blower motor on the reference 5870 graphics card design. The only other thing I would mention is to make sure that your 5800-series AMD card is a reference 5830/5850/5870 design, otherwise the FET heat sinks in the kit may not work completely out of the box.
NVIDIA versions of the VF3000 exist, as well as separate FET heat sinks to add support for older AMD cards for those interested in this heat sink, but don't have a 5800-series card. With this product, users can achieve a very simple upgrade in cooling efficiency as well as decrease operating noise drastically!
- Cooling performance
- Polished, flat base
- Quiet operational noise
- Easy installation
- Fan controller
- Complete instructions
- Few spare parts